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Peak season is well underway, meaning it's time for splash-tastic family holidays to sunny destinations including MajorcaAlgarve, Spain and beyond, while schools are out. Besides being the most popular time to travel, tighter security checks have recently been introduced across all major airports, resulting in passengers experiencing serious delays - with some lasting even longer than their initial flights to Europe! Don't let necessary checks and stricter border control spoil the start of your holiday, instead head to lesser-known airports outside of the major cities for less crowds, fewer queues and lower costs, too... it's a win, win, win!

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Passengers queue in immigration counter in europe airport

This year, longer queues have been experienced across many European airports including Brussels, Lisbon, Lyon, Milan, Madrid, Paris-Orly and Palma de Mallorca. The delays have been attributed due to extensive security checks and tougher Schengen border controls. New European Union rules demand that passengers outside of the Schengen visa zone (including those from UK) must be checked during entry and exit from October 2017, although some airports are carrying random checks even now. 

To avoid missed flights, hours of queue-shuffling and a lot of un-impressed passengers, we've rounded up a few alternative airports within a 50-100km radius of the most popular departure spots to make your pre-holiday experience a little smoother. 

London—Gatwick or Stansted

beautiful Gatwick airport teletext

If you’re looking to fly from London, you have either Gatwick or Stansted to look at as alternatives to Heathrow. Gatwick (despite being the second busiest airport) has an efficient check-in process and is located just 35km away from Central London, with excellent connectivity to the city and comfortable amenities for passengers. Stansted is almost at a similar distance northeast, and serves more European destinations than any other airport in UK. Trains leave every 15 minutes for the city, and you've got coaches and taxis abound. Choose either of these airports for your flights to Europe.


berlin Schonefeld airport at night

Berlin's busiest and most popular airport is the Berlin Tegel Airport, but Berlin Schönefeld is just as convenient and only 20km south of the metropolis. There are several flights to Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean, with Berlin Tegal being the base for operators such as Condor, EasyJet and RyanAir. Recently renovated, it now has new terminals and baggage areas. Facilities here include separate check-points for hand baggage only and prior check-in passengers. It's well connected by train, bus and taxis too so you can ensure smooth transportation to and from your accommodation. 

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Amsterdam— Eindhoven

Eindhoven is approximately 100km from the atmospheric city of Amsterdam, but only 80-minutes to reach by train. Crowned as the second largest airport in the Netherlands, it's well connected to Amsterdam and it's surrounding resorts by coach and train. Cheap parking, faster check-ins and ease of navigation make it ideal if you wish to hop on a quick flight to any summer holiday destination.

Amsterdam Holidays

Strasbourg— Karlsruhe-Baden

people are standing in check in counter europe teletext

Close to the beautiful spa retreat of Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe-Baden is a small airport fit for low-cost and leisure flights. Just 25km away from Strasbourg, Germany, despite its size the airport has a total of 20 check-in counters so that passengers can move through the airport more efficiently. It's also well-connected to other cities of Germany and France by road and train.

Milan - Milano Linate Airport

Milan Linate airport is the second busiest in Italy, and is a base for Alitalia and Alitalia CityLiner. Located 8km from the outskirts of the stylish city Milan, commuting is not a problem - you can get a taxi to the city for roughly 15. Short-haul flights to domestic and other European destinations take off regularly, so if you fancy lazing on your beach hammock in just a few hours time, this is the airport you should fly from.

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Beautiful sunset at airport with many airplanes on runway
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